Asian Markets Cool Down After Fed-Induced Rally

Asian markets generally traded sideways on Thursday after rallying the day before on a dovish outlook from the US Federal Reserve, although Japan's benchmark index declined on a higher yen outlook, and Singapore's Straits Times Index dropped on a credit-rating downgrade of banks.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 Thursday retreated 0.71% on an outlook for a strong yen, and as traders took to sidelines ahead of several economic releases. The central bank Bank of Japan's tankan quarterly business sentiment survey report, which is expected to show sinking business sentiments in Japan, is slated for release on Friday, while the Chinese manufacturing industry's purchasing managers' index, the latest US jobs data and the US ISM manufacturing index, all for March, are due out soon.

Leading the upside on a down day were electronics giant Toshiba (TOSBF, 6502:Tokyo), up 5.80%; followed by diversified tech manufacturer Screen Holdings (DINRY, 7735:Tokyo), up 4.95%; and nuclear-utility The Tokyo Electric Power Co., aka Tepco, (TKECF, 9501:Tokyo), up 4.50%.On the downside were delivery shop Nippon Express (NPEXY, 9062:Tokyo), off 6.23%; and then components-maker Mitsumi Electric (6767:Tokyo), off 5.08%.

The Hong Kong Hang Seng Index fell from near three-month highs to close 0.13% lower on profit-taking, and as traders awaited Friday's China manufacturing industry purchasing managers' index release. Leading the upside were conglomerate China Merchants Holdings (144:HK), up 6.22%; followed by coal-burning power utility China Resources Power (836:HK), up 2.84%; and then oil-driller China Shenhua Energy (1088:HK), up 2.35%. On the downside were China Construction Bank (939:HK), off 1.98%; and then Macau gaming house Galaxy Entertainment (27:HK), off 1.85%.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.11%.

The Singapore Straits Times Index sank 1.11% after Moody's Investors Service lowered the credit rating outlook of banks DBS Bank, DBS Group Holdings, OCBC and UOB to negative from stable, citing concerns over asset quality and profits.

And, on other exchanges, in Mumbai the Sensex declined 0.23%; the S. Korean Kospi fell 0.31%; the Thai Set fell 0.18%; the Taiwan TWSE traded flat; and the resource-heavy Australian S&P ASX/200 gained 1.45%.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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